Archive for March, 2010


Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing with tags , , , , on March 31, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A post inspired by Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate

Trust: the long-term relationship builder.  Trust is a way to build meaningful and authentic relationships over time. The six other triggers fascinate us in a short time frame, trust does not. It requires time and work and it is easy to lose. In an ADD world, the most trusted options relax and reassure us. “Earning trust demands an investment of time and effort, because predictability requires a guaranteed certainty” (171). With trust comes a high and rare reward: loyalty.

The more we are exposed to someone or something, the more we trust it and like it. If something is retold enough times, people believe it even if it is false. According to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbel, “Trust doesn’t demand a moral absolute—only absolute consistency” (175).

The most successful of brands are successful because they are consistent. McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch are two examples of consistent brands because their products always taste the same where ever you go to get them.

Trust can be the most valuable of all triggers, but like all valuable things, it rarely comes quickly or easily. The important things to remember are to find ways that your message can feel instantly familiar, pinpoint shared values with your audience and identify the patterns you want others to fascinate with.



Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing on March 31, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A post inspired by Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate

Vice: The naughty trigger. “The one who stays out too late and drinks too much whiskey, and convinces you to come along” 148

In the game of life, rules are not often fascinating, but to a lot of people bending them is very much so. The vice trigger encourages people to do just this; it gives them a thrill. “Vice includes everything you want to do, and know you shouldn’t do, but still just might do” (151). Vice is about adventure and excitement, people go to great lengths for these things.

According to the Kelton Survey, 60% of Americans said they would be willing to bend their morals, standards or loyalties in order to lead a more interesting life.

Vice tempts people to break out of the strict norms of our society. It never fails to get people talking and often buying. Vice is as far from boring as you can get. “Every process of vice starts by getting someone to consider what he could have, and desires to have, but doesn’t have. Yet“ (154).

The best time to use the vice trigger is when targeting the 18-24 year old age group. This group is more likely than their older counterparts to take risks. The 18-35 year old male audience is an extremely important part of the mix for marketers so the vice trigger should be considered for this group especially.

How to encourage someone to want to break the rules…

  • develop a strict authoritative relationship with punishment that seems unjustifiable. Exaggerate negative consequences
  • Make people want to rebel so they can prove their independence against you.
  • Fail to establish trust. Present your lessons without anything familiar.
  • Trigger mystique by tempting someone, by giving them what not to do, without telling them why they shouldn’t do it.

One brand I have noticed that makes full use of the vice trigger is AXE Body Spray. This works very well for the demographic they are targeting.  I have worked experiential campaigns for them before where we had to wear leather accessories while giving away free samples, a subtle hint at vice.


Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing with tags , , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A post inspired by Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate

Power is something that we have been fascinated with as long as we have been humans.  There has been a hierarchical system in every society and people have always submitted themselves to following someone else.  “Under the influence of the power trigger, people submit to being controlled” (134).

Brands make use of the power trigger by fully influencing consumers. Power can be a positive or a negative tool. “In positive circumstances, power can motivate others to rise to their best. Used differently, it can unjustly intimidate or persecute” (135). If used correctly, this trigger can earn respect and strengthen a person or brand’s reputation. Power gives a person or brand the upper hand, and this is crucial in a competitive marketplace.

In the presence of power, it is in our nature to become submissive. Studies have shown that, in the presence of power “We’re more open to suggestion, more easily persuaded, and more likely to be dominated” (137).

It is apparent that things that fascinate don’t always play nice, especially with the power trigger. Marketers make use of this trigger all the time by preying on the insecurities of others.  For example, “Bad breath and body odor weren’t always offenses punishable by social ostracism—not until advertisers needed to sell more mouthwash and deodorant” (138). In my opinion this is the trigger that gave marketers such a bad name.

Whether it is good or bad, power surely is effective. If your brand uses this trigger you must be careful because with power comes responsibility. Having the ability to persuade and dominate means you will  be held accountable.  Also, “Minimizing errors becomes even more essential when power is your trigger” (146). Mistakes deflate your position.

Examples of brands that use Power:

Viagra is a brand that provokes insecurities about sexual prowess, which in turn triggers fascination

^(love this ad! what an effective way to get the message across without using words).

Here is another one..

^ (Tampax certainly has the power here).


Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing with tags , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A post inspired by Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate

Prestigious brands are fascinating because it is in our nature to want to prove our value and worth. People are drawn to people and products that represent social standing. “We’ll be fascinated by prestige as long as we remain hardwired to compare ourselves to those around us”  (119). Both life and business are a competition based on fascinating others.

People go to great lengths to attain something they think is prestigious. Prestige can increase your perceived value no matter what your personality or product may be. However with being prestigious comes a risk, “Prestigious people can evoke admiration, but more often competition and envy” ( 120) .

The best ways to create prestige are to develop emblems, set new standards, limit availability and earn it.   People will always be fascinated with emblems because they “fulfill a deep instinctive need because they say something about us” ( 121). Emblems help people feel important, respected and recognized as an achiever.  We satisfy this need by communicating our value to the world around us.

Emblems encourage people to stay ahead of everyone else and show off their standing. By developing symbols of value, groups can strengthen participation and commitment.

What comes to mind immediately when thinking of emblems is Foursquare. Foursquare strengthens participate and shows commitment to certain brands based on where people go. One of the most prestigious schools in the world, Harvard, made an emblem specifically for Foursquare and was one of the first brands to do so. Not to mention how popular and prestigious Harvard’s actual emblem is..

“Prestigious groups monitor access to remain sought-after, rare and valuable. Insider brands usually control how many people get access to the brand, otherwise, oversaturation cheapens status and destroys value” (122).  As exposure goes up, so do profits, but the prestige among the original insider fans drops. If something is easily attainable then it isn’t special and it doesn’t make the person that possesses it feel special.

The key to prestige is to set yourself apart; be different from everyone else. “Once set apart, a prestigious brand will have no alternatives, merely inferior substitutes” (123). Every  brand has the potential to become  prestigious. If that brand sets a new standard, people work harder to achieve it. The value of that brand isn’t about the utility, but rather the signal of achievement it sends to others.

Although the price may not be the only thing that matters, it is a way to limit availability. One industry that took advantage of this is the wine industry. This industry is famous for creating prestige based on prices. Grey Goose vodka  also took advantage of this and even decided it would be a pricey vodka before they even had a factory set up.

Another way to limit availability is by forcing people to wait. ( be careful though, this only works when people get something worthwhile in exchange, every detail must justify the heightened cost). An example of this is Cadbury’s  Easter creme egg candies because they are only available around Easter time, and thus highly sought after. ( This is what I was thinking about as I ate one today, after getting rather excited when I saw it at the grocery store. A combination of lust and prestige triggered me into impulsively buying it).

All in all , when it comes to prestige, the most authentic and lasting fascinations require you to earn them. A lot of times expensive brands are considered prestigious because they are a way to show people that you worked hard and earned enough money to buy them.


Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A post inspired by Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate

When it comes to marketing, the main goal is to motivate someone to take some sort of action. Alarm is a useful tool for this because it shocks and propels you into motion.  Alarm is  “when we are hit with a blast of adrenaline, motivated to fight or flight. Now now! (102).  It provokes immediate action.

Like the lust trigger, alarm isn’t rational. People ignore rational thought and act under more instinctive motives when hit with alarm. Before modern civilization, humans experienced danger at every turn. Humans now miss the adrenaline rush and some even seek it out. Why else would we like scary movies, roller coasters or driving really fast? Through the alarm trigger, adrenaline is artificially generated.  The best thing about alarm is, when our blood is pumping with adrenaline, we are sharply focused.  In a time where peoples’ minds and lives are so cluttered, focus is precious. Every brand’s goal is to have the complete attention of their consumers and with the use of the alarm trigger this is possible.

So just how can alarm be instilled? The best ways to do this are to define consequences, create deadlines and increase perceived danger. Distress needs to be used to steer positive action. However, alarm can be tricky because if it is taken too far it can be useless. “If alarm gets dialed up to the point of panic, the benefits diminish”( 108) . At a certain point the brain shuts down and loses the ability to problem solve, just like a deer in the headlights. A message is no longer fascinating if nobody can respond.

One campaign that made this mistake is this video about stopping landmines

In my opinion, Alarm is the best tool for non-profit marketing because people need a tool that provokes immediate action. What comes to mind as the best alarm utilizing non-profit campaign is the Montana Meth Project.
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Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing on March 26, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A post inspired by Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate

Mystique is a trigger that can be used to spark curiosity about a product. It encourages people to seek out information rather than a brand throwing information at them. “Mystique invites others closer, without giving them what they seek. A delicate balance to be sure, but successfully achieved, it’s fascination’s exemplar. Mystique can add anticipation and curiosity to any relationship, from new business pitches to social invitations, by motivating others to return for more. There are four main ways to trigger mystique’s delicate balance: Spark curiosity. Withhold information. Build mythology. And limit access” (87).

The trouble with mystique is that you can never give away your secrets or mystique is lost. When done correctly, this trigger can be very effective, but few brands are able to do that. It can be tricky to withhold information because people could possibly get the wrong idea.

The greatest thing about mystique is that, when there are a select few that know a little bit more information than the others they feel special. When a brand makes someone feel special they will be more committed to it. Also, others will compete to find out this information and mystique envy will be established.

ways to create mystique examples:

Spark curiosity:

A bubble gum ad
Withholds Information:
Jagermeister has many myths about what the  ingredients are. Some of  the most common ones are that Jager is made from elk’s blood, opium or heroin extract. The company does not address these myths because it builds brand mystique

Build Mythology:
Rolling Rock beer has the number “33” on it. Nobody knows what this number means and there are many myths behind it.
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Posted in Experiential Marketing, General Marketing with tags , , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by caitlineoconnor

A post inspired by Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate

Lust is the first of seven triggers Sally Hogshead mentions in her book Fascinate.  Brands that use the lust trigger will be sure to captivate and fascinate. This is important because “In a state of fascination, we don’t think and act quite logically. We do things we don’t understand, we believe messages we don’t agree with, and we buy things we don’t even want” (xvii).

The lust we are talking about here isn’t just the sexual kind (although that can be useful when fascinating as well). This lust is about captivating any or all of the five senses. In terms of experiential marketing, lust is a must. Why? Because “Lust fascinates through experience: our appetites and passions of sight, sound, taste, touch and scent. We anticipate what it might be like to fulfill this craving, and that anticipation pulls us closer” (79). Lust is experience, and it not only encourages interaction, it makes its victims crave interaction.

When lust is activated, people stop thinking and start feeling. Emotions are involved, logic disappears and people are captivated. “Instead of selling a brand simply on rational benefits, this trigger focuses on creating an experiential attachment” (73). This is so effective because, as Maya Angelo said  “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” (73).

When feelings are involved, people are more likely to absorb a message. Also, it brings positive feelings to a person which, in turn, lowers their skepticism and resistance. “Trust stabilizes long-term relationships, and lust encourages people to return repeatedly” (78).

So now that we are convinced of the power of lust, how do we activate it? The answer to this is simply by captivating one of the five senses. The trouble with lust is, as well all know, it fades when it completely satisfies. Lust is about the pursuit of pleasure, not the actual pleasure itself. The challenge is triggering lust over the long-term. In order to do this, new types of appetites need to be stimulated continually. The key to doing this is by switching up which senses you activate.

Brands that use the lust trigger.

Hershey’s Chocolate
Hershey makes chocolate, which is lustful in itself. Hershey goes beyond this by creating hotels,spas, resorts and even an amusement park that have everything chocolate and an interactive factory tour which includes a tour ride and not only smells like chocolate but also sells products such as pens and teddy bears that smell like chocolate.

Senses Engaged by Hershey:

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